January 2021: Expenses, Income, Youtube Earnings, and Goals Recap.

Happy February everyone. I'm sure that this year so far has been just as strange for you as it's been for me. The funny thing is, for the past six months or so, people kept wishing for 2021 to arrive already and for Trump to leave office. But I knew that nothing would magically change or suddenly get better just because there's a different president sitting in the oval office, or there being a different date in the calendar. Both the good and bad things that happen to us are often more in our control, or out of our control than we think. Either way, the world will revolve around us, and both good and bad things will continue to happen, it's up to us how we navigate through them, react, and push forth regardless. 

This was the first month of me being single again in over half a year. Kristina and I first started dating June of 2020 and it's largely been wonderful and extremely comfortable. The biggest problem was that we both got too comfortable and I started to get lazy and a bit too content. Before we started dating I was surfing regularly, working out consistently, eating relatively healthy, spending money frugally, surfing, and in overall good financial, mental, and physical shape. I hadn't drank alcohol in almost 1 year, wasn't eating sweets, and that all slowly went downhill being in a comfortable relationship with someone who loved desserts, ice cream, cake, and comfort. This month being single again, I'm happy to report that I'm back to my normal self, have lost weight, started surfing again, and have cut down on all of the bad things including sugar, alcohol, and overspending. 

Johnny FD Income 2021

Where I Traveled

During the first few days of the month I went from celebrating New Years as a couple at the Marriott and living in a beautiful villa to moving into a small hotel room on the beach for $5 a night. I loved the location as it was right on my favorite beach here in Sri Lanka, and it was located in a very social hangout spot where it was easy to bump into friends on a daily basis. Being able to walk straight out of my bedroom door to the surf break directly in front of my hotel was a huge plus and to me was easily worth one million dollars. Yet since my place was only $160usd a month I was able to keep my things there and not feel bad about leaving my room empty even when I decided to go to Hikkaduwa for a week.

As much as I loved moving to Kabalana, it was difficult as Kristina had moved into the hotel on the same beach and I'd accidentally bump into her on most days. It was awkward and hard to clear my head with her living so close by. So when the owner of At Ease Beach Hotel in Hikkaduwa reached out inviting me to come for a stay, I happily said yes just so I could get away from everything and everyone for a while. 

The funny thing about Hikkaduwa is normally it's the most popular tourist beach in Sri Lanka and always crowded, however during this travel lockdown it has been almost completely empty. All of the tourists who are still living in Sri Lanka have all decided to move to the Ahangama area mainly because there are more villas here with kitchens to rent and since prices are currently so low. In the more popular tourist cities like Hikkaduwa, Mirissa and Unawatuna, most places are designed for short term tourists, which means, most of the accommodation are hotel rooms without kitchen access. 

I'll be posting a series of three videos on my Youtube channel in the next week or so about my time in Hikkaduwa, what I did, where I stayed and what I saw. Even though I normally like to have just 1-2 weeks worth of videos in the queue, to keep things relatively live and relevant, I am currently a bit behind schedule and videos are being published 3-4 weeks after they are filmed. If this was a movie production or TV series, that would be considered a super quick turn around, as normally it takes them 1-2 years to edit and publish, but for Youtube people have gotten used to videos being filmed within a few days of publishing.

How Much I Spent

This month has been amazing for my budget. It's the least amount I've spent in the past 8 months and at this rate, I'll be able to save and invest enough to meet my financial goals before my birthday this July. My Mom just got off the phone with me after finding out that Kristina and I broke up and the first thing she said was that I spent too much money on her, buying gifts, staying in nice places and eating out. I don't regret anything I did or spent as I was always aware of what I was doing, and I'm glad I'm able to leave her with things that make her life better like the gift of vision through glasses that she needed, a better phone so she can create her own Youtube videos and take beautiful photos. 

I'm also glad I got to stay in nice places, eat amazing food, and have these nice experiences that I otherwise wouldn't have done. Some people say that one of the jobs of a beautiful woman is to encourage men to spend money and enjoy life. I think this is partially true as if it wasn't for being in a relationship, I never would have rented that amazing villa or done many of the things that we did. But financially, as you can see from my expenses below, I'm much better off being single. This month I've reduced my living expenses by more than half, especially since being alone, I don't mind staying in cheap accommodations, eating at local restaurants, and living more simply. Also canceling my Dialog WIFI/Mobile subscription and switching to Mobitel has now saved me over $60 a month. 

It's crazy knowing that I only spent $777 this month which is less than 150,000lkr as I've been use to spending double or triple that amount recently. For most Sri Lankan's that is still a huge amount of money as it's often double or triple what their monthly salaries are, especially outside of Colombo, but for me, I'd be happy to be able to spend so little each month. My biggest expense was the $1,000 I sent my parents this and every month to help with their retirement. If it wasn't for that responsibility, I could stop working entirely and retire early. Here are all of my expenses for the month of January 2021 and how much I spent in each category, followed by the last video in the series where I'm still together with Kristina. 

Beach Hotel: $157.32
Extra Wifi: $0
Grocery Stores: $40
Wine and Alcohol: $40
Restaurants and Cafes: $350

Netflix (HD Plan): $14.06 
Cell Phone: $25 (Mobitel)
Surfing: $16
Scooter Rental: $78.66
Tire and Repairs: $28.84
Petrol/Gasoline: $7.87

Taxi's and Trains: $15
Tips, Gifts and Other: $50
Parent's Retirement: $1,000 

Total Expenses for January: $1,777.34

*huge decrease from $5,832.24 last month

My Youtube Earnings

For whatever reasons, my earnings on Youtube have actually decreased since I crossed the 50,000 subscribers mark last month. Part of it is uploading less videos in December and January than I did the months prior but also is the content of the videos itself. This past month, my videos have mainly been about what life has been like living in the South of Sri Lanka instead of what life is like traveling around the country to more popular destinations and topics like Nuwara Eliya, Angampora, Sri Lankan Village Life and Best Food in Colombo

I went from an all time high of earning $2,623.12 in November 2020, down to $1,640.70 in December, and all the way down to just $1,052.16 this past month in January 2021. To make things worse, my sponsorships with Skillshare and Rosetta Stone have come to the end of the contract. We'll see what my Youtube income is like for February 2021 but as you can see from the charts below January has been the slowest month I've had in a while, and I hope this downward trend doesn't continue or drop below earning $1,000 a month. I've also decided to stop making my monthly income and expenses report videos as it was always such a long day to both write my report here as well as film, edit, and upload. That on top of those videos being unpopular expect for my limited digital nomad audience, it just wasn't worth doing anymore. 

The most popular video for this month was my visit to the Meth Bo Sewana temple where I asked Buddhist Monks a list of difficult questions like "What is the Meaning of Life" and "How can we be more present." This video went somewhat viral and has gotten over 70,000 views so far. Unfortunately the other videos this month weren't nearly as popular and two of them including the I Crashed my Drone video and the Muay Thai Fitness video didn't do very well as the topic didn't resonate with my audience. I've learned since then that my viewers mostly want to see cool places to visit in Sri Lanka and anything to do with Buddhism. The tough part is there are only so many new places to visit, and it's tough to keep traveling around to make content. Also as much as I appreciate the Buddhist culture and find it interesting, I don't want my channel to be just about that, as I want to explore all of the different sides of the country and not just religion. 

Other Online Income

Aside from Youtube, I am fortunate enough to have built multiple streams of online income over the past few years. I am earning a decent amount from them still, especially this month with my Income Boss course that had five new signups this month as people wanted to follow a proven roadmap to monetize their online presence, brand and traffic in 2021. 

I also made a few sales of my two books, 12 Weeks in Thailand and Life Changes Quick this month as the start of the year a lot of people make resolutions to read more and watch less TV. Those two books are also really good at showing you what it took to go from being broke with less than $1,000 in total net worth and no online income to being where I am today. 

My dropshipping store that I'm a partner with had a slower than recent month, but at $18k in sales it was still considered a good month for January, which is traditionally a slow month after all of the expenses of Christmas and the holidays. If you have been thinking about starting a dropshipping business, I would highly recommend watching the free webinar by Anton Kraly as the place to start. It's the course that both myself and my partners watched and followed to build this and the other stores that I've already sold for over $100,000 in profit so far. 

Total Income: $3,645.86

Final Thoughts

This really has been an interesting month for me. I started the month in a committed relationship where I was giving my all, but ended the month realizing I was giving it to someone who wasn't a good match for me long term. Here's the blog post where I explain why we broke up

Since then, my comfort levels definitely went down. I canceled Netflix as I no longer have a couch or a TV. I stopped eating sweets, ice cream and desserts everyday. I started working out and surfing regularly again and have managed to already lose a few lbs/kilos. 

I spent less than half of what I normally spent in a month, while having a lot more freedom and free time to work on projects, study languages, and figure out what I want out of life. I don't regret being in a relationship for the past 6 months, but I can now confidently say that I made the right decision. 

I'l be moving yet again to a new, slightly nicer place for February and March which is also directly on the beach, and paying slightly more. But I think it'll be a good middle ground of what I had and had gotten used to. Follow my journey on Instagram @JohnnyFDK, watch my videos on Youtube/JohnnyFD and lets see how this next month unfolds. 

P.S. Here's an unlisted video I published on my channel that shows what the surf is like right in front of my hotel here in Ahangama/Kabalana Beach. 

With love from Sri Lanka,

Johnny FD

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Income Report 8573567587277955081

Post a Comment

  1. How was your 2021 so far? Comment here.

  2. Johnny, I appreciate how open you are to not only examine your feelings, wants and needs but also willing to share your thoughts with the rest of us who are probably doing much the same. Certainly we've all been through phases when we feel the need to make some changes. As for me, I've always been a "go with the flow" kind of person and never had a long-term plan until recently. But now I have one thing left on my bucket list (yes, I'm that old) that I really want to do and having that singular focus is a great motivator for me. I've watched you grow as a person over the last years and you seem like a very thoughtful, considerate man so just keep being open to what life brings and you'll find what's right for the next phase of your life. All the best to you, and to Kristina because she deserves it too and we'll miss seeing her.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Linda! I hope you get through that one thing left on your bucket list!

  3. Johnny I have 2 questions for you-

    1.what languages do you study?
    2. Have you figured out what you want out of life

  4. Will you help me with money for make my family happy

  5. Hi Johnny, Big fan of your videos and podcasts. Discovered your content during the pandemic and really appreciate the granularity of information you provide. Wish you a happy new year and look forward to your adventures.

  6. Great read! Watched some of your talks from Nomad Summit on YT. Very inspiring stuff! You're very genuine and willing to share and it shines through! Keep up the good work, looking forward to more.


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